router number nine

An upgrade to the ‘allansplace’ network has happened (finally).  The old router, a D-Link DIR-815, has been replaced by a new one, a Netgear AX1800.  Why the change?  The DIR-815 has been running for several years and so far hasn’t failed, but the wireless signal has dropped in power, and sometimes the SSID has disappeared completely.  So, if you notice a faster connection, this is likely the cause.

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garage thermostat

It seems ‘cloud-connected’ thermostats are all the rage these days.  Google doesn’t own enough personal information – they want to dissect how we heat our homes, too.  I went to Rona, Canadian Tire, Lowe’s, & Home Depot to find a manual thermostat suitable for the garage – that is, one that goes down to zero degrees.  Finding one that goes that low is not as easy as it sounds.  They’re all made for the insides of homes and only go down to 10°C at best.  I absolutely don’t want to keep the garage at a toasty 15°C in the dead of winter – just keep it above zero.

I finally one at Home Depot.  It’s made for electric baseboard heaters, overkill for this application, but it goes down to 0°C.  Now I see that Canadian Tire has the same one, but I dismissed it at the time because I didn’t know if a baseboard heating thermostat would be compatible with a forced-air type.

Yes, you can use a baseboard heater thermostat to drive a forced-air furnace but not the other way around.  The line voltage on a baseboard heater thermostat in North America is 240VAC/60Hz or sometimes 120VAC.  A forced-air furnace thermostat line voltage is 24VDC, I think, and does not handle any significant load – just a basic on-off thing to trigger a relay switch in the furnace.

So now I have a garage that will not freeze and will be nice enough to work in during the bitter, cold months.

Fujitsu P7120 parts

How hard is it to get parts for older PCs?  Hard.

I’ve been in need of a power button & LED board for my Fujitsu P7120.  I’ve been searching for the past year and haven’t found one until now.  PCHub.com says they have one for US$36.  I’ve ordered from them before, and they seem to sell reliable stuff.  I wonder how long it would take to deliver.  Then again, I’ve been needing one for a year and a half, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

reprieve in the long hours

After finishing college and taking a couple stabs at finding my ‘ideal’ workplace, which took a year and a half, I think I found a place I belong, at least for now, at CE.  (Or, rather, T found it for me on Kijiji and emailed it to me.)  I’ve been working since late Nov. 2019, learning as I go.

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when things go wrong (aka cursed server)

I drove to Rosedale, BC to take care of Father’s house, as I told everyone.  However, on the second day that I was gone, my server crashed.  <AAAAAH!>  Every time I leave, something happens to the computer!  I phoned Floyd to help out.  I guided him through various steps to get it running again.  No go.  I needed the server to update to everyone how things are going there on lesjohnston.ca and here, to post things for sale, to upload pics to share with various people, etc, but the server just would not work.  I got back into town yesterday evening, about three weeks later, and worked on the server.  It’s now running again.  Piece of crap.  It’s cursed.  It only crashes and refuses to restart when I leave town.

decommissioning of ‘allan1’

Yes, all my machines on my little network here are named ‘allan’.  ‘allan1’ is the name of the server.  Anyway, it’s slowly dying.  I got a new machine today.  It’ll take a while to move the server from ‘allan1’ to its new home ‘allan25’, so if the web is down, please be patient.

virus and backup

There are a few entries missing from the Ongoing Letter because the server caught a virus.  Actually, I made a mistake and opened up an FTP service on it without encryption.  I thought, “No one will ever know there’s an FTP site here.”  Stupid.  Within a week, a virus showed up.  I had to reinstate a backup from about two weeks ago.  So, students and others, if your web page is not up-to-date, please let me know.  Those of you who posted something on your own page, “Sorry!”  You’ll have to re-post.  Better to be virus-free than to screw around with patching up an infected server.

teardrop 1 electrical panel

The electrical panel is now in.  It somewhat mimics the Sprite’s panel.  It includes a two-way radio (11- & 10-metre band SSB), a stereo with CD player, a solar charge controller with volt & amp display, a 120VAC GFCI plug (15 amperes), a 12VDC / USB plug, and four lighted, coloured switches (for the cooler, water pump, cabinetry lights, and galley lights).  All the electrical guts of the trailer will be directly behind that, accessible through the berth via a sliding panel.

It have started calling it teardrop 1 as it is the first one being built.  I thought of giving it a name but later thought otherwise.